Liam Lacey

Liam Lacey
Tomatometer-approved critic
Location: Toronto

Movie Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
C 64% Annabelle Comes Home (2019) In a Night at The Evil Museum fashion, the artifacts in the Warrens' demon museum come to life over the course of a night. Despite aggressive editing and Joseph Bishara's shrieking score, it's a long night indeed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 25, 2019
100% Buddy (2019) A lovely, touching doc from a director who knows a thing or two about emotional intimacy. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 21, 2019
82% Dogman (2019) Director Garone's dark drama is fueled by allegory and a standout performance by actor Marcello Fonte in his debut lead role. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 19, 2019
31% Shaft (2019) As with many of these slapped-together action-comedy hybrids, Shaft is a game effort by a talented cast but a shame about the movie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 13, 2019
B 75% Watergate (2019) A problem is that Watergate, while good at getting into the muck and weeds, fails in overview. The success of Watergate prosecution seems to have owed at least as much to luck as to Nixon's dogged adversaries. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 12, 2019
88% Pavarotti (2019) Director Ron Howard's experience and resources ensure this sentimental doc about the Italian classical music superstar is well-paced and researched for memorable archival tidbits. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 4, 2019
71% Asako I & II (Netemo sametemo) (2019) This bittersweet Japanese oddity doesn't quite work as a romantic melodrama but succeeds in illuminating anxiety-ridden millennial generation. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 29, 2019
C-plus 57% Aladdin (2019) It runs 128 minutes - though it has enough digressions, chases, musical numbers and virtual fly-overs through bazaars, minaret-and-domed skylines, that is feels it may actually last 1001 Nights. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 24, 2019
C-plus 57% Brightburn (2019) The movie rattles through 90 minutes of episodic jolts and jumbled visual style, distinctive only in having a better effects budget than your average demons-in-the-attic quickie. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 23, 2019
B-minus 47% The Sun Is Also a Star (2019) Without ever feeling like an "issue movie," it balances a coincidence-riddled romantic fantasy against a plausible backdrop of immigrants' struggles. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 16, 2019
89% Meeting Gorbachev (2019) Director Herzog- famous for his films about impossible dreamers - is uniquely qualified to document Gorbachev, the man who dreamed of reinventing the Soviet Union... and ending up triggering its dissolution. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
20% This Is North Preston (2019) It's an interesting story but This Is North Preston's cinematic approach (think music video) undermines its gravitas. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
91% The Biggest Little Farm (2019) A beautiful film with a surprisingly strident message and broad-based appeal. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 15, 2019
A-minus 95% Shadow (2019) While the thematic scheme may be ancient and remote, Zhang's poetic compression and technical pizazz feels as fresh as a splash in a mountain stream. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 10, 2019
57% J.T. LeRoy (2019) Colourful performances by Laura Dern and Kristen Stewart fail to find any urgency in retelling the tale of this incredible early-2000s literary fraud. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B-plus 97% Hail Satan? (2019) Though it occasionally gets a little repetitive in its use of archival devil movie and tab TV clips, Lane's film is mordantly funny and persuasive in making the case that religion should be kept out of politicians' dirty hands. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted May 2, 2019
B-plus 93% Diane (2019) Yes to everything about Place, whose performance is wonderfully specific. Her face, away from other characters' eyes, collapses into a semaphore of disappointment, with a down-turned mouth, and a far-away stare. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 26, 2019
30% The Curse of La Llorona (2019) Despite bearing the stamp of horror king James Wan, La Llarona is dreadful, predictable and truly a must-miss. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
82% High Life (2019) At once repellant and fascinating, French director Claire Denis's English-language debut evokes other science fiction films but is unsurpassed in its high-concept weirdness. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
B 87% Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (2019) Hong Kong fight choreographer, Woo-Ping Yuen directs, though action is more his forte than dialogue. Brace for a bravura battle among the neon signs above a recreated section of Hong Kong's famous Bar Street. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
B-minus 45% Little (2019) Little chases several comic formulas with diminishing rewards, getting downright squirmy in two scenes when the 13-year-old Jordan comes on to adult men. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
99% Amazing Grace (2019) Though not a great piece of filmmaking, the documentary catches Aretha Franklin at height of her powers, demonstrating her mastery in the genre of music she grew up on. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
69% Stockholm (2019) The latest collaboration between actor Ethan Hawke and director Robert Budreau holds promise but wilts under the conventions of (yet another) tediously stilted comic thriller. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
82% The Brink (2019) Director Alison Klayman's year-long cinema verité portrait of Steve Bannon is unlikely to change anyone's mind about Donald Trump's political strategist as it fails to answer some pressing questions. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
63% The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2019) The years-in-the-making Man Who Killed Don Quixote is long-winded, jumbled and lacking the hoped-for surreal visual pop that made director Gilliam's previous films so enchanting. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 9, 2019
70% The Invisibles (2019) Neither version of director Claus Räfle's hybrid documentary-drama has the depth to achieve much impact. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 4, 2019
A 97% Carmine Street Guitars (2019) Mann's laidback, dramatized-reality approach to the subject is to treat Carmine Street Guitars, at 42 Carmine Street, as a village general store from another era, a place for friendly gossip and home-made goods. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 3, 2019
92% Giant Little Ones (2019) Apart from a few eye-roll moments, the film is redeemed by the authenticity of performances, particularly of the young actors, and a refreshing open-endedness about the fluidity of sexual behaviour. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
76% Hotel Mumbai (2019) This first feature from Australian director Anthony Maras is an unrelentingly intense docudrama that, while immersive, raises troubling questions about dramatizing real-life mass murders. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 28, 2019
57% The Highwaymen (2019) A solidly crafted reworking of the familiar story with solid performances by Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson and excellent attention to detail by director John Lee Hancock. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
98% Ash Is Purest White (2019) Jia Zhang-ke's latest is at once a brilliant rumination on China's explosive growth, a showcase for the towering talents of Zhao Tao, and a sad love story with a compelling twist. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
27% The Aftermath (2019) It has sexy leads and great costumes but there's little else to recommend this lukewarm Nazi-era potboiler that might have been made (and likely should have stayed) in the 1940s. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 21, 2019
A-minus 98% 3 Faces (2019) 3 Faces ends on a light note but with an unmistakable image of violence -- one of Marziyeh's "dishonoured" male relatives, wielding a fist-sized rock. In the context of Panahi's real predicament, the humour runs dark indeed. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 6, 2019
71% Climax (2019) Though uneven (at first electrifying and then... not so much) the latest experimental sensory assault and indictment of vile humanity by Franco-Argentinian bad-boy director Gaspar Noé is this year's film you can't unsee. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 1, 2019
C 79% Never Look Away (2019) Never Look Away has most of the ingredients for award-season royal jelly... gussied up what is essentially a crude, reductive melodrama. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
B 92% Fighting with My Family (2019) Like wrestling itself, the movie rides on mutually-agreed upon fraud: Though it's made clear matches are scripted, Paige's Divas Championship is portrayed as an upset. It's best to play along because it's more fun that way. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 21, 2019
B 69% Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Overall, there's more ha-ha comedy than uh-oh horror... a sense that this second feature is less a coherent film than an exercise in muscle flexing that could easily turn into an anthology TV series. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 15, 2019
89% Arctic (2019) Director Penna's powerful feature debut, which premiered at Cannes, reframes the classic survivor story with sublime imagery while following the "Chekov's gun" principle that every element of the story must count. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 6, 2019
B-minus 76% Wonders of the Sea (2019) Noble intentions and technological marvels aside, Wonders of the Sea 3D is burdened with a distractingly cornball script, narrated by the Cousteaus and, occasionally, Schwarzenegger. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 30, 2019
88% The Image Book (Le livre d'image) (2019) Oh so meaningful but... um... so long... and... um... - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
No Score Yet This Mountain Life (2018) Long on beauty, short on complexity or analysis. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
No Score Yet Racetime (La course des tuques) (2018) The latest installment in the hit animated series from Quebec takes narrative risks but should delight the core constituency. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 24, 2019
89% The Kid Who Would Be King (2019) Eight years after his cult fave Attack the Block, writer/director Joe Cornish returns with a YA spin on the King Arthur legend that kind of works... but also kind of doesn't. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 23, 2019
A 92% Cold War (Zimna wojna) (2018) The luminous black-and-white musical melodrama is the kind Hollywood used to make, about an attractive couple who sing and fight and love together. Through this lens, it's a kind of romantic protest against a political nightmare. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 22, 2019
A 97% Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018) In a year of overtly political African-American films, from Black Panther to BlacKkKlansman, Hale County is something different, a deliberately impressionistic and exploratory film. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 18, 2019
10% Replicas (2019) A textbook example of the kind of nonsense that typically opens in January, Replicas begins as so-bad-it's-good, then quickly morphs into merely it's-so-bad. A must-miss. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 13, 2019
D 33% Welcome to Marwen (2018) The amazing-but-true story of the idiosyncratic artist Mark Hogancamp has been turned into a bloated Hollywood techno fantasy that has to be seen to be disbelieved. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
91% Mirai (2018) Well-observed and gently amusing, Mirai of the Future is perfect for kids and adult alike. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 20, 2018
92% The Great Buster: A Celebration (2018) Bogdanovich's comprehensive survey of the legendary silent film star includes multiple marquee interviews and properly situates Keaton as wildly ahead of his time. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 19, 2018
100% They Shall Not Grow Old (2019) It's weirdly fitting that fantasy director Peter Jackson should employ all the newest in film technology to construct this immersive World War I memorial documentary, which brings the horrors of the Great War mesmerizingly to life. - Original Cin EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 17, 2018